About Me

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I am a lifelong fabric artist who loves bringing a home to life with quirky, unique and sumptuous pieces of textile art. I learnt my craft from sharing many a happy hour sewing with my talented mother. I particularly like collage, free-machining, needle-felting and creating home furnishings using a combination of machine and hand sewing. I love incorporating vintage and reclaimed fabrics, buttons, beads, jewellery and other items in my work to give them a second chance at being beautiful.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

WOYWW - crafty gifts

Hello all, hope you're well and have been spared by this week's stormy weather.

Without further ado, on my desk today I have a pile of lovely goodies I received for Christmas from Twiglet.

There are some beautiful Tilda fabrics, threads, ricrac, spray glue and bondaweb which should keep me busy on the New Year. Also there's a fab thread bin Twiglet has made for me. She's so clever, aren't I lucky?! There isnt much work in progress on the desk at present. I haven't had much time for sewing over the last week - I've spent much of my time watching my toddler explore his new toys and books (and tidying away the carnage after!)

I did promise to share some of the pieces of work I produced for customers once Christmas was over so here they are...

'M is for Marlowe'

'E is for Elodie'

I also found time to make some last minute gifts for friends and family. This little fella is a Christmas present for Ben's bestie, Isabelle.

My final piece of news is that my business cards arrived yesterday and I love them!
I had several different designs made up for each area of my work. I used an app called picolage on my phone to produce the designs from all my photographs then sent them to Moo.

Well that's all for today folks. I hope to have a busier workdesk to share with you next week. I'll be dropping by Julia's Stamping Ground later to catch up with other artists taking part in What's on your workdesk Wednesday - why not join me?

Happy crafting x

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

WOYWW - Chubby and plump, a right old elf!

Yes, dear reader, a line from my favourite poem 'T'was the Night Before Christmas'. I thought it an appropriate verse to accompany my workdesk photo this week...

You'll see up front my latest make. Last year I made Ben a sack for his first Christmas and added to it a little felt Rudolph decoration with 'Ben's first Christmas 2014' on the back. This Christmas I have stitched a Father Christmas and so the fun will continue year on year (or at least until he twigs that Mrs Claus's stitching is uncannily similar to his mummy's!)

Now that Twiglet's sewing room is finally tidied, we managed to share half an hour of sewing time this week while the boy was asleep...

What fun! Good job I'm better at sewing than I am at taking selfies!

Also this week our tree went up. I had feared all sorts of mishaps would occur when toddler met tree, but we've been lucky and Ben hasn't been nearly as curious/destructive as I'd feared.

He has taken a shine to all the handmade goodies that mum (twiglet) has made for my tree over the years so I thought I'd share them here so you can enjoy them too...

My final share of the week is a collection of fab photos that my dad has taken of my work. I've been grumbling about how I need to have better photos of my work to improve my Etsy listings and so dad, a professional photographer, set up the studio for me and took these fab pics! He even got round the problem of reflections on the glass in my box frames!

That's all for today folks! Hope you've enjoyed visiting and reading my blog. I'm off to visit some other fab bloggers' workdesks on What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday so why don't you join me too!

Happy crafting x

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

WOYWW - dumfling breeding programme

Afternoon all! I've no workdesk photo this week as we're round at Twiglet's house so I can use the space in her sewing room for mounting all my needle-felted dumflings. Here's a shot of her ironing board this morning instead... I'm sure these dumflings have started breeding!

This week I've been working on another customer order for a little girl's first birthday. Like my post last week, I can't share the full finished piece but here's a quick peek...

Finally I've got to share some pictures of my toddler - or should I say climber...

We've had a couple of bright days this week so we've enjoyed playing on the big kids' play equipment in a quiet play area while the big boys and girls are all at school. The rope netting bit was definitely his favourite bit!

On the windier days we've donned our fab new bobble hat made by Bobble & Squeak. Cute, warm and snuggly.  It certainly does the job!

That's all for today, these dozens of dumflings won't mount themselves! Thanks for stopping by for What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday :-)

Happy crafting x 

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

WOYWW - The Shropshire hoard

Hello all and a warm 'happy December' to one and all this fine 'What's on your workdesk Wednesday'!

Firstly, forgive me for my absence last Wednesday. I took a sabatical to help mum (Twiglet) organise the sewing room following the arrival of new furniture and a huge hoard of craft stuff from storage. More about that later.

You're here to see my workdesk today aren't you? Here it is...

In the foreground are yet more little needle-felted backgrounds ready to work on, so there's lots to keep me busy on these long, cold winter evenings.

One day I'll get round to framing them all (but then I'll have nowhere to store them... note to self: must organise some exhibitions for 2016!) Did I just make a New Year's resolution already?!

To the right is a top secret project - a customer Christmas order- so I haven't been able to share it with you in full just yet. But here's a quick peek...

...or perhaps I should have said a quick squeak!

Now I explained earlier that I'd been helping sort Twiglet's sewing room last week. 'Can it really take a week?' I hear a few of you say. 'Can it only take a week?' I hear others chortle. Well it has...there was quite a hoard. I certainly owed Twiglet some help as much of my sewing time is spent there and a good portion of the crafting hoard that has been amassed is actually mine! The full horror of the task would be too grim to share with you, dear reader, so here's the edited highlights!

Needless to say, neither of us need any more crafting bits and bobs and we could both craft every day next year and barely make a dent in it! Did I just make another New Year's resolution there?!

That's all for today, thanks for stopping by. I'll swing by some WOYWW desks later on today and see what other WOYWWers have been up to.

Happy crafting x

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

WOYWW - Thank you!

Morning all, welcome to my regular Wednesday post.

I've been a busy bee this week, not just with sewing but also with building up my social media presence. More about that in a moment.

Here's my desk this morning...

A few more dumflings waiting to be beaded and mounted. Thanks for all your suggestions received last week for the ideal collective noun for dumflings. I do particularly like a 'snuggle' of dumflings!

Also on my desk is my latest hand embroidered card.

I will probably make a few more of these 'thank you' cards to send and sell but my main reason for making it was to say a big 'thank you' for all my new Twitter followers and Facebook likers/sharers! I know this includes some of you, dear readers - probably via Twiglet and Wipso who kindly liked and shared my Facebook page. I'm thrilled to say I've already taken some orders on the back of my Facebook page so I'll be busy making up these orders in time for Christmas!

Anyone interested in finding me on social media I am @tillyteadance on Twitter and my Facebook page is https://m.facebook.com/Tillyteadance or click here

My other little shares for today are a couple of photos I took of Shrewsbury this week, just before the wild and windy weather blew virtually all the leaves from the trees.

We're really lucky to have chosen to live in this town - these photos are taken from a bridge near my home which I cross every time I walk into town. Currently a family of swans and several goosanders spend much of their time under the bridge waiting for the town folk to feed them - something Benjamin enjoys to watch.

That's all for today, I've got lots of jobs to squeeze in today as the Husband and I will be spending our evening at a wine tasting event at Tanners, our local wine merchant! Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to swinging by lots of other WOYWWers desks later today.

Happy crafting x

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

WOYWW - A flock of dumflings...or maybe a herd???

You've heard of a parliament of owls and a murder of crows, right? Well which word would you suggest for a collective noun for dumflings? I have quite a hoard sat on my workdesk today.

They're migratory dumflings, mind you. They started their life on the sofa (I've been sat most evenings with the hand dumfer watching TV) but they're now grazing on my workdesk waiting to be mounted and framed.

I'm swiftly replenishing my stock, having dropped a selection of my work in at a lovely shop in Hednesford last week.

Also flying off to pastures new this week were these hand-embroidered pictures for two special little girls who turned one this week.

The pictures have been produced using a combination of applique, blanket stitch and running stitch.

Hopefully they'll add some hand-crafted charm to their bedrooms or playrooms.

That's all from Tilly Tea Dance Towers today, the supermarket shopping calls! Thanks for stopping by, I'll swing by some desks later today. If you have arrived at my blog by happy accident and would like to know more about What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, hop on over to Julia's Stamping Ground.

Happy crafting x

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

WOYWW - Robins and dumflings!

Happy WOYWW to one and all! Thanks for visiting my regular blog about my needle-felting and embroidery activities.

Here's my workdesk this morning...

Did someone say Christmas is just round the corner? Well in that case it's a good job I am in the throws of making my Christmas cards this morning. I'm continuing on my mixed hand/free-machine embroidered theme with these cheeky robins...

This week I had a visit from a lovely customer looking for presents for some special people in her life. As regular visitors to my blog will know, I have been busy recently replenishing my dumfling stocks so I had plenty to show her! Fresh from a visit to Ikea for frames I mounted all my latest dumflings and set them out on display...

As you can see from my workdesk, I've still got loads of little dumflings to finish off (and a little man to entertain) so I'd best get cracking!

Thanks for visiting my workdesk, hop on over to Julia's Stamping Ground to meet dozens of other crafters busy at their workdesks!

Happy crafting x

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

WOYWW - Sunflowers and Christmas Pud

Hello all, welcome to my 'What's on your workdesk Wednesday' post. Bit late in the day as I've had a poorly boy with a chesty cough to entertain until bedtime.

My desk is looking decidedly sunny today in spite of the autumnal weather. I fancied a change from needle-felting poppies and pansies for my big pieces so I've been working on sunflowers this week.
This piece has been needle-felted and free-machine embroidered so it just awaiting a bit of beading and hand embroidery before it is complete.

I can't say the Christmas countdown has commenced yet at Tilly Tea Dance Towers, but I have found time to start this year's christmas card production line. Here are the first two.

Regular visitors may spot the similarity between these little puddings and the 'new home' cards I made a few weeks ago. Hopefully I'll find time to rustle up a few more over the next few weeks, though I have several ambitious sewing/crafting projects in mind for Ben's Christmas presents so I'll have to get myself in gear!

That's all for this week folks, thanks for stopping by.

Happy crafting x

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

WOYWW - new home celebrations

Hello all, welcome to my 'What's on your workdesk Wednesday' post. Bit late in the day as I've been for a long overdue hair cut!

I've had a busy week with several different textile projects on the go.

I've produced more needle-felted pictures (dumflings) as I have the exciting prospect of supplying a few shops in the coming months! These are all ready to bead and mount...

I've also taken time to dabble with some new ideas this week. A number of my friends have moved house recently, or are due to soon, so I have made a few embroidered 'new home' cards. These have been both free-machine embroidered and hand embroidered.

Finally, I've enjoyed watching my little man find his feed as he gets ever closer to walking by himself...
(Note: the vase is on the table, not balanced on Ben's head!)

Hope you've all had a good week too. I'll hopefully catch up on your news when I swing by a few desks after the little man has gone to bed.

Happy crafting x

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

WOYWW - Needle-felting inspiration from sunny climes

Morning everyone, Happy 'What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday'! Forgive my absence last week, we were in Portugal taking Ben on his first foreign holiday. More about that later.

After trawling through three loads of holiday washing, I've found a little time for some needle-felting this week.

I've been looking through all my photos of the many 'dumflings' I've produced over recent years while I've been adding a new gallery to this blog and have been inspired to rustle up some more background pieces.

Here they are...

During our holiday in Portugal I found lots of inspiration and new ideas for my needle-felting. Here are a few of my pics. I think some of these will make good subjects for needle-felting, hand embroidery and beading - especially the Hibiscus.

Heres my first attempt at needle-felted hibiscus. Hopefully this range will make use of some of the wild pink roving mum has got in her stash!

Obviously most of my holiday was consumed by watching Benjamin enjoy his first foreign jolly. Having flown on aeroplanes previously where small children made raucously loud (largely unwelcome) noises, I was slightly anxious about the flight, hence the busy book I made a couple of months ago. I needn't have worried - he was a star during both flights! We read lots, looked out of the window, he ate and slept and the three hour flights both went by in the blink of an eye. I think he really enjoyed himself, don't you?

Hopefully I'll have more needle-felting to share with you next week. Thanks for stopping by. I'll swing by some desks shortly. If you've reached my blog by happy accident and are wondering what WOYWW is all about, pop across to Julia's Stamping Ground to meet dozens of other crafters from across the globe who come together every Wednesday to share what they've been up to.

Happy crafting x